Demigod

Slumber of Sullen Eyes

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This Finnish band resides in the darker outskirts of Scandinavian death metal. Like many death metal bands in the early '90s, Demigod released a few noisy demos of thrashier material before coming into their own on their debut full-length. Although not as well-recognized as some of their Swedish contemporaries, Demigod are equally deserving of the acclaim afforded to the more well-known bands from their scene. Tremolo-picked parts are melodic in a way similar to Entombed, Unleashed, Dismember, et al., but a murkiness resembling Incantation is also present. Nods to Bolt Thrower's unblinking pummeling are apparent, as well. "As I Behold I Despise" starts by trading between two riffs that wouldn't be out of place on "Where No Life Dwells" and "In Battle There Is No Law," respectively, while the wobbly break at the end of "Blood of the Punished" would have fit nicely on "Onward to Golgotha." Unlike many riff-happy death metal bands, Demigod operate with a "less is more" approach to songwriting. They are willing to let a part ride for several measures, while changes in percussion and lead guitar melodies carry momentum forward. The full possibilities of each riff are explored, creating thorough epics. Many of the tempos on this album are mid-paced, giving it a steady, rolling feel. This isn't frenetic, nor is it crushing. This is a roiling mass of dark clouds on the horizon, covering the landscape in inky blackness. Minor-key melodies atop thick riffing create an atmosphere of melancholy and longing. This is the soundtrack to somber mental journeys embarked upon with in the hopes of reaching a more enlightened state. Slumber of Sullen Eyes is highly recommended as one of the most irresistible iterations of early-'90s Scandinavian death metal.

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